Mucho Cerdo Asado–Crispy Roast Pork ‘Carnitas’

by Sarah on September 21, 2010

On Facebook a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I was roasting 50 lbs of pork for a party. That’s a lotta pig!  Roasting the pork with a dry rub is our way of making “carnitas”.  I know it’s not real carnitas, but deep-frying 50 lbs of pork was just NOT going to happen.

The dry rub has some sugar in it so as the pork roasts, the sugars caramelize and make the outsides crispy without having to deep fry it.  I like it.

I didn’t take step-by-step photos of this one because I obviously was up to my ears in pork shoulder, but believe me, it’s simple.  First, mix up the dry rub.  Cut the pork shoulder into chunks, about the approximate size of your fist.  Sprinkle liberally with the dry rub and let sit at room temperature for about an hour.  Then roast.  That’s it.

This is only half!

When the pork is cool enough to handle, shred or chop into small pieces.  Serve right away or reheat later. Cover it with foil if you’re reheating–you don’t want the crispy ends to burn.

Taste for seasoning.  Sometimes I squeeze some lime on top and sprinkle with salt if it seems a little bland.

Hot corn tortillas, fresh salsa or hot sauce and guacamole make perfect accompaniments.

Crispy Roast Pork ‘Carnitas’


  • 5 lbs. boneless pork shoulder
  • 1/8 cup each: granulated garlic, onion powder, ground oregano, ground cumin,
  • black pepper, brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 lime


  • Preheat oven to 300*.
  • Cut pork shoulder into chunks, roughly the size of your fist.
  • Mix the dry rub and sprinkle liberally over the pork. Massage all over so it is completely covered. Place on a baking sheet, covered with foil if you want to avoid a messy clean up.
  • Roast for 2-3 hours, or until the meat falls apart easily when pierced with a fork, and it is browned and crispy on the outside.
  • When the pork is cool enough to handle, shred or chop into small enough pieces for tacos. Taste for seasoning. If it seems a bit bland, squeeze a lime over the top and season with a little salt.
  • Serve with hot corn tortillas, guacamole, salsa or hot sauce.
  • Muy delicioso!

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